Carlos Ramos returned to the umpire’s chair on Friday for the first time since being called a “liar” and a “thief” by Serena Williams, taking charge of the Davis Cup World Group semi-final rubber between Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Frances Tiafoe of the USA.
“I’m just focusing on this tie and working again. That’s all I can say,” the Portuguese umpire told the Associated Press on Friday.
Ramos calmed the raucous crowd in Zadar, Croatia, several times and came down from his chair to check a few ball marks on the clay court but otherwise had a quiet match.
“I didn’t know Ramos was sitting in the chair. I really wasn’t paying attention,” Tiafoe said. “I was more worried about the person across the net than the official.”
Earlier in the week Ramos revealed he had avoided walking the streets of New York on Sunday to avoid any “complicated situations”, but confirmed he would be back in the umpire’s chair on Friday.
“I am good, under the circumstances,” Ramos was quoted as saying in Portugal’s Tribuna Expresso.
“It’s an unhappy situation but a-la-carte refereeing doesn’t exist. Don’t you worry about me!”
Ramos docked Williams a game for verbal abuse – having already given her a point penalty for smashing her racquet and a code violation for coaching – in her US Open final defeat by Naomi Osaka last weekend.
However, there were no controversies for him to deal with yesterday as Cilic beat Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
Cilic’s victory over Tiafoe made him Croatia’s most successful Davis Cup player, the World No. 6 going past the 36 Davis Cup rubbers won by Ivan Ljubicic.
The former US Open champion broke twice in the first set and three times in the second before the American, making his Davis Cup debut, pushed him harder in the third.